Jimmy Stockton is a prizefighter who's wife promised to leave him if he lost in the ring again. When his wife is killed the police arrest him for murder. Maris is a reluctant defense attorney but surprises are in store. The coroner also has interesting information vital to the case.
Businessman Martin Reeves knows his teenage son Paul is somehow involved in an attempted robbery and shooting. With a big merger pending, Martin is more concerned with his own reputation. He makes up a phony alibi for Paul and begins bribing witnesses to tell his version of what happened.
Hot-tempered soldier Blake Newman is accused of killing his best friend, a fellow soldier, who'd kept him waiting at the train station because of a girl. Maris' old commander asks him to help the boy, so he works to track down the girl the dead man had met at a party that night. She worked as a hostess for a modeling agency.
Businessman Martin Reeves knows his teenage son Paul is somehow involved in an attempted robbery and shooting. With a big merger pending, Martin is more concerned with his reputation. He makes up a phony alibi for Paul and begins bribing witnesses to tell his version of what happened.
Lt. Weston helped turn a former gang member into a cop and now needs Maris' help to clear the officer of a murder charge. Neither believe Fred Crotty is a killer, so someone must have borrowed his pistol one night--someone who knew his daily routine--since it was the weapon used in the killing.
News commentator Fred Prescott is murdered and his assistant, Jim Keller, is arrested for the crime. The two had been feuding because Prescott had canceled Keller's investigative story on the "accidental death" of a building inspector at a construction site.
Maris represents the safe expert who's charged with killing a gem dealer and making off with jewels from his vault. To catch the real thief, Herb goes undercover and pretends to be a importer/exporter who wants to buy some "hot" rocks.
The jazz musician charged with murdering his band's manager was supposedly having an affair with the manager's wife. The shooting may have been over love, but Maris thinks someone else was the killer. The murder weapon leads him and Lt. Weston to the guilty party.
City councilman Eric Schilling is charged with murdering the man trying to blackmail him into giving up his office. It all stems from Schilling's questioning of a shady contractor, Fred Gallen, who is bidding on a major city project. Maris finds Gallen's backers are a couple of big league hoods.
A theatrical producer is murdered in his apartment and robbed of $2000. An elderly Shakespearean actor who was coming to ask for a part and a loan is arrested at the scene. Maris, a fan of the old actor, believes he's innocent. The producer had practically disowned his daughter, actress Aggie Thorne, when she married a broke ex-tennis star. Herb doesn't trust the guy either after catching him in a couple of lies.
The apparent suicide of Maris' friend David Farrell, a successful company controller, seems completely out of character. Farrell was about to audit the company's books in preparation for a lucrative merger. Lt. Weston finds that company owner, Gavin Bledsoe, has a history of being around when money goes missing and people fall down elevator shafts.
Mark Clayton is charged with murdering his shrewish wife after one of their frequent arguments. On the surface, Eleanor Clayton appeared to be a "plain Jane" type. Maris discovers she was secretly a high-stakes gambler who'd run up a debt of $9,000 at a local gaming house and was feeling pressure to pay.
Texas oil millionaire Curly Simmons asks Maris to clear his partner, Tex. At a party they threw, Tex had become jealous when another man was getting too close to his gal. The woman is found dead, but Tex claims he's not the killer. Maris questions the other party-goers for information.
Finding a long-missing locket of hers in an antique store prompts Paula Anderson to ask Maris to re-investigate the death of her husband. A year earlier Fran Gibson, the nurse he'd hired to look after his blind, paralyzed sister, had been convicted and put on death row. Fran had been having an affair with Mr. Anderson and still says she's innocent.
Weston believes an undercover cop "went bad" and fired three shots into bookie Tack Stanley, but wants to investigate. He finds the crook was not loved, especially by his wife and mistress. The only one who professes his affection does it far too loudly.
A beauty queen is charged with killing Elston Carter, the bullying millionaire father of her boyfriend who refused to let them marry. She claims the murderer was a fat man she'd never seen who barged in, hit the man on the head, and left. Maris believes the woman's story, but Lt. Weston thinks it's and open and shut case.
A former trial witness is murdered in Weston's hunting cabin and the local sheriff charges the lieutenant with the crime. Maris figures the lieutenant is being framed by someone nursing a huge grudge. Upon learning that their lead suspect had recently died, they consider enemies Weston may have made on the force.
Craig Mitchell is charged with the murder of his younger mistress. His wife tells Maris he's innocent even though her husband's gun fired the deadly bullets. The counselor's investigation leads him to a low-level criminal named Spook Chambers who has a key to the Mitchells' house
A convict on his deathbed claims he can clear fellow prisoner Jimmy Broderick of murder. Maris arrives too late to learn the information that would clear his client of the conviction. With Lt. Weston, Herb re-investigates the case, convinced that the woman who positively identified Jimmy was mistaken.
University researcher Nina Whitehead drops dead after being injected with the new "wonder tranquilizer" she's been working on. The syringe was filled with curare and research student Brian Clark is charged with her murder. Maris discovers Whitehead was not well-liked, giving many who worked with her a motive.
Casey urges Herb to help a young man who's charged with murdering his future father-in-law. Most people say the dead man was a wonderful guy, but those who knew him privately paint him as an obnoxious wife-beating jerk.
Maris investigates the case of Joey Nelson who's sentenced to death for killing his former employer. Joey admits to arguing with the boss after slugging his insulting cousin. Herb talks with the key witness of the trial, the dead man's wife, and finds she's hardly grieving for the man she calls a fat slob.
A carnival knife-thrower is charged with the stabbing death of Spectro, the fortune teller. The hot-tempered Harlow believed that the swami was having an affair with his wife, but denies killing him. After Maris and Lt. Weston question the other carnival performers, they devise a scheme using Spectro's crystal ball to draw the killer out.
John Van Der Berg is charged with robbing his own jewelry company and killing the night watchman in the process. Maris is hesitant to become involved because of of his dislike of John's rude mooch of a brother, Tony. Soon, the guilty party soon seems obvious to Maris and Lt. Weston; it's just matter of setting the person up for a confession.
Maris and Lt. Weston visit a fishing lodge where their regular guide, Joe Slate, has just been arrested for murdering his wife Esther. They interview Sheriff Jeremy Davies, his nephew Frank Davies (the lodge clerk), saloon owner Noah Hawkins and his wife Mary, and gas station attendant Al Shankley to find out who really killed Esther.
Daniel Gray, inventor of a new explosive, is arrested for the murder of his boss who died by hitting a golf ball coated with the substance. Maris believes the ball was actually meant for Gray who, he discovers, has two women claiming to be his fiance.
It seems obvious that old coot Barney Klein swiped $5000 from the half-way house where he lives. He's not helping his own case by making up ridiculous stories about what happened the night of the robbery. Barney's waitress girlfriend talks Maris into taking his case.
The investigation of a murdered stewardess implicates one of her two roommates, Jean Davis. Maris uncovers romantic jealousies between two of the women who had dated the same pilot, and a secret marriage as potential motives for the killing.
Tom Chambers, the co-owner of an archery range, is charged with killing his psychologist. After a quarrel, the doctor is found at his desk with an arrow sticking out of his back. Chambers, who claims his innocence, admits to being on edge lately, but says its all because of his business.
Ex-convict Jimmy Dennis is accused of murdering a gangster who's found shot dead in his gift shop. Maris and Lt. Weston had helped rehabilitate Jimmy and believe he's being framed. The case turns when a witness reports seeing some other known criminals leaving the store the night of the murder.
Maris and Weston race the clock to clear an innocent handyman who's set to be executed in the morning. The pair learns that the man Nicolo Donadi was convicted of murdering was a racketeer making a power play within the mob. With time running out, they must get their hands on a negative that shows the real killers.
Shortly before he is to testify in a bitter divorce brought by his wife, the philandering husband of a socialite is found shot to death in their apartment. Although suspicion at first falls on the wife, the coroner rules the death a suicide. However, Herb Maris isn't all that sure about the coroner's conclusion, and begins to investigate the case himself.
Physicist Alan Decker is held for the murder of a fellow scientist with whom he worked. Maris is in the awkward position of clearing him without revealing to Lt. Weston that his client is also a secret agent of the government. Someone at the lab is clearly keeping a secret because Herb gets nothing but conflicting answers to his questions.
Dr. William Stanhope, Maris' physician, is charged with murdering his wealthy wife. The couple had feuded over his self-centered behavior, her refusal to fund his research center, and his personal assistant, a delusional young woman who claimed he was in love with her.
Herb is asked to represent rich society friend Helen Allison who's found at the murder scene of private eye Harry Bourne. Bourne was a sleazy character hated by all who knew him, including his wife and clients. Maris and Lt. Weston catch a break when Helen's daughter confesses that she had dated the married Bourne, a fact which Harry promptly used to squeeze blackmail money out of the family. Believing his friend to be innocent of the murder, Herb turns his attention to Harry's other blackmail victims.
Soon-to-be American citizen Alexis George is charged with murdering the dealer who was supposed to buy the rare coins his mother sent from Greece. Lt. Weston believes the young man is innocent and joins Maris in questioning the others who work with him at the waterfront pier.
A road crew finds a skeleton buried under a highway, prompting Herb to reopen one of the few cases his father ever lost. Dan Janis was convicted of killing his business partner, though he still claims innocence. Maris looks at who financially benefited from the man's death and gets the company's old bookkeeper to help flush out the guilty.
Professor Hastings wants to convince his wife not to be so cavalier towards criminals, so when she walks across campus one night, he jumps out of the bushes and pretends to choke her. Lt. Weston doesn't treat it as just a foolish stunt. He arrests the professor as a suspect in the "Compulsion Killer" murders that have been committed on the university campus.
Maid Angela Valez is charged with killing the woman she works for. She was placed by an employment agency that brings young women to America as domestics before forcing them into the escort business. Maris has his receptionist go undercover and apply to the agency as a visitor from Scandinavia.
A bartender from the Golden Grill restaurant is arrested for selling stolen jewelry to a pawn shop. The gems were heisted from a couple dining at the Grill; at the same time, their house was being robbed. Maris thinks that's more than just a coincidence.